Where has Sherita gone? A ‘fabulous’ Brooklyn icon erased

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn (PIX11) – A mysterious Bed-Stuy icon painted on an Atlantic Avenue billboard was recently covered up, renewing a decade-old question: Who is Sherita?

The “fabulous” pink dinosaur-looking figure once loomed over a tire shop at Classon Avenue on a billboard that read “Attention landlords, our fuel oil price is right. Come in now!” Her disappearance this week, much like the mystery of her origins, has perplexed hundreds of New Yorkers.

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“As she moves on to the great oil rig in the sky… she will remain in our hearts,” local Mike McCabe, who made a short film inspired by the mysterious dinosaur years ago, told PIX11 News on Wednesday.

Her presence has inspired songs, a drag performance, a painting, at least one tattoo, and many discussions about Sherita’s mysterious origins: Who painted her? Why does she have a collar? Who has been fixing the billboard all these years? Why was it painted over?

A billboard featuring a pink dinosaur named Sherita was covered up in Bed-Stuy. (Left: Spike Einbinder; Right: PIX11 News)
A billboard featuring a pink dinosaur named Sherita was covered up in Bed-Stuy. (Left: Spike Einbinder; Right: PIX11 News)

“I think she’s up there with Coney Island’s Steeplechase Face and Crazy Eddie as far as weird but unforgettable New York symbols,” McCabe said.

The corner building below Sherita most recently housed Flat Fix Tires, which moved down to 919 Atlantic Ave. in December, a worker told PIX11. A nearby business owner noticed the old Classon Avenue location being cleaned out this week, and McCabe saw Sherita get painted over on Sunday.

The property was built in 1930 and purportedly used to house a home heating oil company, according to reporter Anne Kadet. That company has since moved away and seemingly doesn’t work in oil anymore.

Over the years, the stretch of Atlantic Avenue around Sherita has changed a lot, keeping up with the fast pace of construction and gentrification across Brooklyn, according to Gina Gregorio, a Pratt professor who is selling Sherita t-shirts to raise money for One Love Community Fridge.

Some of the buildings around Sherita have transformed from gas stations and auto shops to residences as locals have been priced out, Gregorio said. It’s a troubling trend she also saw in her Park Slope neighborhood around Fourth Avenue, she said.

“It just feels like the landscape is becoming homogenous between the retail and the buildings,” Gregorio said. “It’s suddenly becoming anywhere.”

(Credit: Spike Einbinder)
(Credit: Spike Einbinder)

Sherita represented a different vision of Brooklyn, one that is vibrant, unique, and home to diverse businesses.

“The Sherita sign represents a certain type of signage and advertising that you don’t see a lot of anymore,” McCabe said. “There’s so many chains, and branding and logos and signage [are] so standardized and corporatized. It had a certain mom-and-pop charm that’s uniqueness really stood out.”

Local comedian and drag performer Spike Einbinder would like to see Sherita reemerge elsewhere in Brooklyn – if not return to her rightful place overlooking Atlantic Avenue. Inspired by Sherita’s proud and powerful stance, Einbinder once performed a drag rendition of the pink dinosaur with an imagined romantic entanglement with Mr. Met.

“That stretch of Atlantic Avenue is so gray and industrial, [with] her proudly watching over it,” Einbinder said. “She’s clearly so fabulous.”

Emily Rahhal is a digital reporter from Los Angeles who has covered local news for years. She has been with PIX11 since 2024. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.

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